Merry Christmas

I woke up this morning, fed the cats, made coffee and then told Gregg that Santa had arrived. I got us a coffee with Bailey’s and we sat down in the living room. I turned on the TV to the “shaw log“. Christmas isn’t Christmas until the shaw log is on. We opened our gifts and enjoyed some more special coffee.

As I was sitting and looking at the TV, I was reminded of my Dad. Listening to the roaring fire on the TV made me think of when I was a child and we were living in Vancouver at the time. We had a fireplace in the basement. Dad sitting there on a foot stool, poking at the fire and adding another piece of wood. During the Christmas season we always had a bowl of mixed nuts on the coffee table. Dad would take some and put them along the edge of the fire and roast them. When they were ready he would pull them out and crack them for us. I can see him in my mind like it was yesterday, grabbing the walnuts and tossing them from hand to hand blowing on it to cool it down. Then putting it on the brick hearth and hitting it with a hammer just enough to crack it open. I would then get the nut pick and pull all the tasty pieces out of the shell. Walnuts were always better when roasted.

As I get older my memories are fading, but every now and then some come back so clearly.

I miss you Dad. Happy Birthday. Today I have put my blue butterfly on my tree. You are with me….always.

Christmas Spirit

For the last 2 weeks I have been laid up. I Had started with the Christmas decorations and half way thru I tripped over Duncan. Twisting and landing on my hip so hard that I pulled a muscle. Oh the pain! It was so bad I had to use a cane to walk. After a week of doing absolutely nothing I was finally able to move around and put the cane away. Just as I am starting to feel better, Gregg decides to gift me with his cold. Back to bed I went. I am still sick, my voice sounds like a mouse going thru puberty. My sinuses are a mess, they cant decide whether to clog or drip. I think I have coughed up my lungs and put them back in about a dozen times. Everybody say it with me “thanks Gregg”.

So, it seems my Christmas spirit is no where to be found as of yet. I thought I had found it in a box of old decorations but then it vanished. I even went to some Christmas fairs and still nothing. I am starting to wonder if I will find it this year. I didnt put up the big tree, instead I went with the pink 3 footer. I like it, but I think Gregg is a bit ify on it. I just didnt feel like going thru the hassle of putting it up. Right there, that should tell you that my Christmas spirit is missing.

I was suppose to go out today with my mom and sisters to a Christmas store called Potters then this evening Gregg;s work Christmas party. Had to cancel both. I was hoping that going to Potters I might have found my Christmas spirit there, but not now. I’m really not sure where to look. I have asked all my snow people and they all give me a blank look and say nothing. Duncan has checked his bed numerous times and tho he keeps going back and digging, he still comes up empty.

Maybe I need to make a trip to the Mall? Could it be there? I have yet to do any shopping. To be honest, I dont even have it in me to buy gifts this year. I dont know what to buy for people. I think gift cards is what everyone will be getting from me. Yes, impersonal, but hey, better than nothing.

I think if it snowed it would feel more Christmasy to me.


I think this cold and all the pain I have been enduring for the last few years is finally taking a toll on me. Or maybe I am just having a pity party for myself.

When I am feeling like this, numb and emotionally drained, afraid to take one more step cause that one might actually be the step that rips the screams out of my mind. If I let go of that control, I dont think I would stop crying for months. Instead, I turn to music. It is my healer.( Even listening to Christmas music, I still cant catch the spirit)

I have depended on music to get me thru my tough times. Tonight I will lean on it again. As I sit here and listen to the beautiful voice on Annie Lennox (yes I like her) I realize that I know why the Christmas spirit has not shown itself to me. I am missing someone very special.

“Little Bird”
I look up to the little bird
That glides across the sky
He sings the clearest melody
It makes me want to cry
It makes me want to sit right down
and cry cry cry
I walk along the city streets
So dark with rage and fear
And I…
I wish that I could be that bird
And fly away from here
I wish I had the wings to fly away from here
But my my I feel so low
My my where do I go ?
My my what do I know ?
My my we reap what we sow
They always said that you knew best
But this little bird’s fallen out of that nest now
I’ve got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I’ve just got to put these wings to test
For I am just a troubled soul
Who’s weighted…
Weighted to the ground
Give me the strength to carry on
Till I can lay this burden down
Give me the strength to lay this burden down down down yeah
Give me the strength to lay it down
But my my I feel so low
My my where do I go ?
My my what do I know ?
My my we reap what we sow
They always said that you knew best
But this little bird’s fallen out of that nest now
I’ve got a feeling that it might have been blessed
So I’ve just got to put these wings to test
Annie Lennox

Been a Long Road

The last couple days I have been feeling a lot of neck and shoulder pains. Those days that I feel it more that usual, I end up thinking about how I got this pain. When I do remember, I still feel a lot of anger and sadness. My anger towards the Chiropractor that did this to me and the sadness I feel that I will have to live with this forever. I guess I have a self pity party for myself. Most of the time I ignore how I feel and try not to get mad, but some days it just stays with me and I am grumpy the whole time. I know that I need to let go of the anger, but it’s so hard. Most of the time I think that I have moved on and forgiven and forgotten. Then the pain and daily dizziness reminds me that I will never be normal. It’s been a long 10 years. Only the last few months have I noticed that the dizziness has calmed to where it’s like a low hum in my head. I know it’s there and I seem to have gotten use to the feeling. There are still moments where I might move too fast and everything will flip side ways, but now it only lasts a few seconds. Where as it use to last a lot longer. I also dont feel like I will vomit when I get dizzy. So, some things have gotten better. I still cant walk a straight line, but I couldnt do that even before the injury…lol

Today I am feeling not so bad. Just my eyes feel sore. Which is one of the things I must deal with daily. I am lucky that since this happened 10 years ago it has improved to where I can handle my daily aches and pains most of the time. It would just be so nice to be pain free, even if it’s just for one day a month. I have forgotten what its like to have no pain. I even feel the pain when I sleep. I guess this is what I have to live with. We all have problems.

Anyways, there is so much that I have changed in my life. I no long am that rebel I was most of my life. I would have to say that I am a completely different person compared to what I was before. I believe it does make a difference who your friends are (even though I never believed it) and how you choose to live your life. I never thought I would live any kind of a healthy lifestyle. I am trying. Temptation is always lurking in the fridge, the liquor cabinet and the snack cupboard. So glad I quit smoking and dont have that urge.

Then there is religion. This is the big obstacle in my life. Ever since I can remember God has been a HUGE factor in my life. As a child I had to go to Sunday school. Then as I got older church services were added. Every Sunday morning was about 3 hours at church. At 10 I remember our Sunday school teacher scaring us into becoming a Christian. I recall running home and going into my bedroom, locking my door and praying for God to keep me from burning in Hell. I asked him to save me.

I was about 12 when I finally told mom that I didn’t want to go anymore. Dad wasnt going to let that happen. At 13 I rebelled….loudly! I was done following them to church. I didnt see the point in going just to see what everybody was wearing. It was like a fashion show. Who had the best dress and who wore the latest shoes. I just didnt understand any of it. When the Pastor talked, I heard blah blah blah. He could have been speaking English, but I didnt catch a word of it. I stopped going the Sunday after Grandma died. I figured she wasnt going anymore then I wasnt either. (i know its a dumb reason. hey I was a kid!)

Since then I have been fighting, well not fighting but disagreeing with my family, mostly with Mom and Dad about coming back to the church. Over the next 27 years I only attended Christmas eve services and even then missed that for a few years. Then when Dad got sick and he was nearing the end, He started to preach again. He said I needed to be ready for when my time comes. I politely listened and agreed with him. It was a hard thing to do. Religion was one of the biggest wedges between him and I. On his death bed, he couldnt talk anymore, but he still knew what we said. The day before he died I went to see him. He was sleeping. He woke up and looked at me and smiled. At that moment I felt it. I felt the need to tell him that I would see him again. I told him “Dont worry Dad, I’ll see you in heaven. I’m coming there too”. I saw his faded blue eyes lighten up for just that moment and tears start to flow. I hugged him one last time and felt his love. He then looked at Mom pleading for her to come closer. We all hugged for just a moment and then we parted. It was my last moments with him.

It will be 2 years this June that he is gone. I know that I said I would go back , but I have found that I cant go back to that old style religion that the family grew up with. I have recently realized that I am not a Mennonite. This might seem weird to some of the family. I mean, how can I just say that? Well, it wasnt an easy decision. Now that I have let it come out completely, I feel a huge burden lifted. It felt like that first time I sunk my toes into the warm soft white sand of Playa del Carmen’s beach. I felt peace in my heart.

I can now move ahead. I am not fighting that battle anymore. I can find what I really need and I think  I have found it. I am finding my true religion.

It’s been a very long road and that road has had some big pot holes and lots of rocks. Seems the road is changing. No longer the pot holes, and the rocks have turned to gravel. I hope that one day it will be that soft white sand I long for. When that day comes I know I will be at peace with the Sun shining down on me.

To be continued…….

It’s Been A Year

Today is a year that dad is gone. Gregg and I went to the Cemetery yesterday afternoon. It was cold and wet. It was strange though, the clouds started to clear as soon as we got there. I know it wasn’t God or Dad clearing it up, but I would like to think that it was my Dad making sure that the Sun touched me, just to let me know he was there.

Father's Day 2009 03

I had a few tears, but they were happy ones. I did bring him a slice of watermelon. Like I said I would. I even took a bite. I’m sure he would of shared. We stayed for a bit and I thought about how much I missed him. I took the first small rock I saw from top of his grave and put it in my pocket. It will travel with me for this year.

I don’t know if I’ll go back again. I know he isn’t there. I know that he is in Heaven. I just hope that Heaven isn’t butting heads with his stubbornness…lol. He always liked to argue that he was right, I was wrong. True, many times he was right.

Anyways, we decided to head over to Mom’s for the afternoon. My brother’s with their wivies and kids also showed up. We had a nice early dinner and chatted for a bit. Then it was time to head home.

Today, I have thought about him again. It’s hard not to cry. I guess that I will always miss him. You only get one real Dad in your life. I’ve lost mine. For those of you that still have your Fathers, make sure that you take the time to get to know him. You might be surprised at what you find in that man.

I can never say thank you enough times for the chance of getting to know my Dad before he died. Thank you.

Father's Day 2009 12

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Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day.

I wasn’t too sure about doing this post. Then I thought about it and decided I needed to do it.

It’s been a year since my Dad died. It went by fast. It feels like it still just happened. I’m finally at a point where I can say his name without crying or having to leave the room. Ok, not true, I want to cry now. I miss him so much. I realize that I can’t spend Father’s Day with him anymore, but I can think of all the times we spent together.

My first thoughts of him today, when I was young, camping in Penticton. Just Dad and me pigging out on watermelon in the late afternoon, spitting seeds everywhere. Those are very happy memories. Summer vacations were always fun. I miss them.

This past year hasn’t been that easy. Not for any of the family. We all have struggled to move on without him. It’s not easy to get together as a family, especially when we gather at Mom’s place. We sit around the big family dinning table and it always feels like he is missing. He always sat at the head of the table. It now seems that my Brother-in-law has taken the chair. He is the oldest. He has the right to be there. Mom is at the other end, but sometimes she still sits at the side. I guess old habits are hard to break.

My brothers have their moments and I can see that they are still hurting. It will take time. My sister troops along with a smile on her face. I know she is hurting too. She was very close to Dad and being the oldest, she knew Dad the best.

Mom puts up a good front, but we all know that she is still crying. I try not to leave her alone on Sundays. It was always the day her and Dad would spent together. They would call some friends over or go visit someone. They made sure that Sunday’s were to be enjoyed. No working of any kind. So, I call her every Sunday. Sometimes more than once. I’ll call after lunch when I know she will be back from church. They I might call her later to let her know if there is something good on TV.

As for me, well, I am doing pretty good. Yes there are days that I just feel sad and want to cry cause I miss Dad so much. I wish I would of  had more time with him. I’m thankful for the time I did have.

This past Christmas was hard, since it’s also his birthday. We got through it. This is our first Father’s Day without him and we will get through this day too.

I’ve decided that I will remember Dad on this day, but I will not spend the day being sad. I still have Gregg’s Dad. Glen is a great guy. We will be spending the rest of all the Father’s days with him. When he is gone, this “holiday” will be over and never thought about again. Just as it will happen with Mother’s day when Mom is gone.

So here is to all the Father’s out there. Enjoy it!

I will be visiting Dad later this afternoon.

“I’ll be dropping off a slice of watermelon for you, Dad”.


Oh, “and Dad…The sun still brings me your love”.

That Time Again


Image via Wikipedia

Its time again for our annual family Christmas dinner. Every year my Mother’s side of the family gathers at the church gym to celebrate Christmas. Most of us don’t see each other through out the year and this gives us a Chance to catch up.

We all bring some food and have a meal together. The variety is amazing. A potluck is just that, who knows what will show up. We sit and chat and laugh and you can feel the Christmas spirit flowing through the room. The kids play in the gym as we adults sit in the kitchen. And Christmas isn’t Christmas until my Aunt walks in wearing her Christmas vest. Its always a happy time.

This year will be different. We will be gathering, but 2 people will be missing. Dad and Doug. I know that when I wake up on Sunday morning, my thoughts will be on Dad and how Mom will handle the day. She is a strong woman and I know that she will be putting on the smile and be full of Christmas spirit. I also know that deep down inside she will be aching. The first time is always the hardest.

I know my Cousin will have a hard time without her husband Doug there to enjoy this family time. Just like Mom, she is a strong woman and she will be ok too. The families will all be there to comfort both of them, just as we will all comfort each other on this day.

As Christmas is arriving, I know it will get harder day by day for Mom and all us kids. Dad’s Birthday is on Dec.25th. This will be a very sad day. Our first without Dad. I know we will cry that day, but we will also laugh and remember all the good times we had. Plus many more to come.

This year we are also celebrating 40 years in Canada. Mom told me the other day that she still has the bottles of wine from the airplane we were on when we arrived in Canada. I said that this is a good year to open them up. So we are getting together on Dec.20th to celebrate this day.

Mom is also doing a first without Dad this Christmas. She is heading south again. My parents had been snowbirds for about 15 years and gone south for the winter months. The last couple times my brother and his wife have been driving the motorhome since Dad couldn’t do it anymore. So this year the 3 of them are heading out on the 26th. I think it will be good for Mom.

So, as you can see, my mind is here and there today. I am feeling a bit blue. But I’m going to go dig out the tree and turn on some Christmas music and think happy thoughts. Life goes on and we start a new way of Christmas.

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3 Months

Its been 3 months now. I just thought I needed to tell you all that I am doing ok. I miss Dad a lot. The other night I was reading a book and there was a part in there about a wedding and the girl saying good bye to her dad and it brought tears to my eyes. It reminded me of my wedding and how dad had the biggest smile on his face that whole day.

Its strange how the smallest things can trigger my tears. Its still hard to talk at length about dad. I have to stop myself before I cry. It gets easier some days, but then there are the days where I cant stop thinking about him.

I will have to stop this post now, I can feel the tears starting. I just wanted to say I miss him. And I`ll get those pictures to the family soon. I just havent been able to look at them.

Its Almost Gone

permedImage by Darwin Bell via Flickr

Thats right, summer is almost gone. We hardly even had a summer this year. Gregg and I did make it to Jericho beach once. The weather has been very different this year. Seems that each year it gets worse. Soon we wont even have a summer. It will just be winter and spring. Just another reason to move to Mexico.

So this friday will be 2 months since dad is gone. Time sure flys. Mom got the keys to her new condo this weekend. Now she is starting on all the reno’s. New flooring and paint. New appliancies in the kitchen. So many little things to get done before she can move in. It will keep her busy.

Gregg and I will be staying home and saving our pennies so that we can return to Mexico again in the near future. I was hoping to go back next year, but it looks like it wont happen. We have to come up with 3000 bucks for our share of a new roof for the condo building. So no more going out for dinners. We have to cut back on everything. Maybe we will make it to Mexico in 2010.

I have some projects I plan to finish this year. I want to get all my scrapbooking done. Get some pictures enlarged for the living room walls. Take out my sewing machine and head to mom’s so she can teach me how to sew since I totally forgot how. Get all our Mexico pictures edited and get the videos off the tapes and on to my pc and burn them to discs. I know there are a few other things I need to do too.

I also want to get back into my yoga and start walking more.

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Nommy’s At Mom’s

Gregg and I headed over to help mom move the mattresses into the other room this morning. She bought new ones last week and I am so jealous! I want the new ones, heck I would even take the old ones.LOL. So we stayed for lunch. We had Borscht and buns…nommmy! I love it. We sat and talked for a while about what all she plans on doing in the new condo she bought. Its on the same floor but 3 doors down and an extra 400sq ft I think. Now sure about the size. I do know that it will be able to hold the whole family for dinner. So 25 people at least.

Its still a bit weird to go visit and not see dad sitting in his chair. This was only my second time there since dad passed away. Tomorrow will be a month that he is gone. It doesnt feel like a month. I miss him. Yesterday at the family bbq over at my brother’s house, mom brought the last few items of dad’s clothes. Some belts and ties and jackets. We all took what we thought we could use. I grabbed 3 ties for Gregg. I also got a sweater that dad wore often, but the thing I really wanted was his Cologne. I guess I just want to be able to smell it once in a while. So I dont forget the happiness.

Anyways, the rest of the day Gregg and I will be working on some pictures from out Mexico trip. I’m finally getting some enlarged so I can put them up on my walls. Once its done I’ll take some pics.